Arura

Dark style fashion blogger Stephanie of FAIIINT wearing Arura cable knit t-shirt jumper, H&M skirt, Rick Owens wedge boots. All black street style outfit. Dark style fashion blogger Stephanie of FAIIINT wearing Arura cable knit t-shirt jumper. Street style outfit details. Dark style fashion blogger Stephanie of FAIIINT wearing Arura cable knit t-shirt jumper, H&M skirt, Rick Owens twill drape jacket, Rick Owens wedge boots. All black street style outfit. Dark style fashion blogger Stephanie of FAIIINT wearing Rick Owens black leather wedge boots. All black street style outfit details. Dark style fashion blogger Stephanie of FAIIINT wearing Arura cable knit t-shirt jumper, H&M skirt, Rick Owens twill drape jacket, Rick Owens wedge boots. All black street style outfit.

Arura is a newly launched luxury knitwear brand based in Leicester. Their pieces are made in the UK, crafted from the finest quality yarns and produced in limited numbers, making these real forever pieces. Leicester has a long and rich history of knitwear production, so it’s really wonderful to see a new label emerge here and breathe new life into this sadly dwindling scene in the city.

This ‘Sofiya’ tee is knitted from the softest charcoal merino wool and features a unique geometric cable knit pattern to the front. I don’t think I’ve ever owned a short sleeved jumper before, but I definitely feel like I’ve been missing out now. It’s perfect for this inbetween kind of weather we’re having right now, where I can never seem to decide if I’m too cold or too warm. It’s also ridiculously snuggly, with a tight but comfy fit, which makes it feel like I’m in a cozy little cocoon that I never want to take off.

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Naska

Dark style fashion blogger Stephanie of FAIIINT wearing Rick Owens Naska blistered lamb leather jacket, Helmut Lang drape skirt, Kurt Geiger saturn boots, Balenciaga city bag. All black street style outfit. Dark style fashion blogger Stephanie of FAIIINT wearing Rick Owens Naska blistered lamb leather jacket, Helmut Lang drape skirt. All black street style outfit details. Dark style fashion blogger Stephanie of FAIIINT wearing Rick Owens Naska blistered lamb leather jacket, Balenciaga city bag, Le Lou Ula & Birds N Bones silver claw rings. All black street style outfit details. Dark style fashion blogger Stephanie of FAIIINT wearing Rick Owens Naska blistered lamb leather jacket, Helmut Lang drape skirt, Kurt Geiger saturn boots, Balenciaga city bag. All black street style outfit. Dark style fashion blogger Stephanie of FAIIINT wearing Rick Owens Naska blistered lamb leather jacket, Helmut Lang drape skirt, Kurt Geiger saturn boots, Balenciaga city bag. All black street style outfit. Dark style fashion blogger Stephanie of FAIIINT wearing Rick Owens Naska blistered lamb leather jacket, The Silver Cafe druzy topaz crystal necklace. All black street style outfit details. Dark style fashion blogger Stephanie of FAIIINT wearing Rick Owens Naska blistered lamb leather jacket. All black street style outfit details.

If you were to ask me when I first fell in love with this jacket, I’m not sure I could tell you. It has been this almost mythical, holy grail piece ever since I first became interested in fashion and it was the first item I ever deeply longed to own. I would spend hours pouring over photos of off-duty models and celebrities wearing theirs, giving off this effortless kind of cool, and sit thinking of all the things I would do if only I owned that jacket.

After years upon years of wanting, I can finally say the Rick Owens Naska jacket in buttery, blistered lamb is mine. Since it arrived I’ve dreamily touched it and tried it on more times than I can count. Yesterday I sat in my bedroom editing these photos in it, just because.

There’s something about the cut of this jacket that has always captivated me. The relaxed wide collar, elegant tails, super slim fit and asymmetric fastening create a piece that is both edgy, but classic too. A go with anything staple that will instantly add a little flair and drama to any outfit without being too overt.

The blistered lamb leather is also one of the most gorgeous finishes I have ever come across. It feels almost more like cloth than leather, and the crackled, textured finish catches the light so beautifully. It’s much lighter and thinner than I had imagined, but yet it doesn’t feel delicate either. It has this softness and a relaxed, slouchy kind of drape that moulds to the body and hangs so perfectly that its as if it’s been cut especially for me.

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Banteay Srei

Banteay Srei Citadel of Women beautiful carved pink sandstone Hindu temple in Siem Reap Cambodia. Banteay Srei Siem Reap Cambodia beautiful forest countryside with buffalo. Banteay Srei Citadel of Women beautiful carved pink sandstone Hindu temple in Siem Reap Cambodia. Banteay Srei Citadel of Women beautiful carved pink sandstone Hindu temple in Siem Reap Cambodia. Banteay Srei Citadel of Women beautiful carved pink sandstone Hindu temple in Siem Reap Cambodia. Banteay Srei Citadel of Women beautiful carved pink sandstone Hindu temple in Siem Reap Cambodia. Banteay Srei Citadel of Women beautiful carved pink sandstone Hindu temple in Siem Reap Cambodia. Banteay Srei Citadel of Women beautiful carved pink sandstone Hindu temple in Siem Reap Cambodia. Banteay Srei Citadel of Women beautiful carved pink sandstone Hindu temple in Siem Reap Cambodia.

Banteay Srei is a small, but breathtaking 10th-century temple complex built from solid pink sandstone and nestled within the Cambodian forest. Dedicated to the Hindu goddess Shiva, it’s also known as the ‘Citadel of Women’ and is renowned for the beauty of the intricate carvings which cover the walls like a tapestry. It’s considered by many to be a jewel in the crown of Angkorian art and architecture, and features some of the most beautiful and detailed carvings from the ancient world.

As we made our way through the trees along sandy paths, we passed buffalo roaming next to the baray. We reached Banteay Srei just as the sun was beginning to descend, bathing the pink stone in a beautiful golden hour glow. We hadn’t expected it to be so small. It looked like a perfectly formed miniature of the others, as if it had come straight from a fairytale. I can only imagine how magical this place must have looked and felt as a place of worship, before it was abandoned and left to the forest.

The crumbling structure, blackened from years of weathering still holds some magic though. The delicate carvings depicting Hindu epics and tales have been so beautifully preserved, and the detail they contain is completely enchanting. It’s often said that this place was named ‘Citadel of Women’ not only for its beauty and grace, but also because these delicate carvings could only have been created by female hands.

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Cowl

Dark style fashion blogger Stephanie of FAIIINT wearing H&M cowl knit tunic, All Saints wrap belt, Jones Bootmaker yazmin biker boots, Regal Rose Rua labradorite choker necklace, Elemental Luxury phantom quartz rings. All black street style outfit. Dark style fashion blogger Stephanie of FAIIINT wearing Elemental Luxury black phantom quartz rings. Outfit details. Dark style fashion blogger Stephanie of FAIIINT wearing H&M cowl knit tunic, All Saints wrap belt. All black street style outfit details. Dark style fashion blogger Stephanie of FAIIINT wearing H&M cowl knit tunic, Regal Rose Rua labradorite and gunmetal chain choker necklace. Outfit details.

We’re almost in May and the last days of spring, and yet we’ve still only had a handful of days that have been warm enough to step outside without a jacket. So, I’m trying to make the most of them in case this is all we get!

I’ve had a bit of a field day with the H&M sale lately and picked up a bunch of great basics, plus a few slightly more interesting pieces like this cowl tunic. If the weather here understood what spring was, I’d say it’s the perfect spring piece – light and airy, with a little extra warmth to keep the chilly breeze out.

Also, for some reason I haven’t been able to take off this string bracelet. A monk tied it around my wrist whilst we were visiting a temple in Thailand and since then I’ve become oddly attached to it, even more so the tattier it gets. I’m not religious myself, but I really can’t bring myself to cut it off. Maybe I’m just trying to cling on to my holiday for as long as possible or maybe it holds some subconscious significance, either way, I think I’m going to leave it until it falls off by itself.

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Motorbiking Through The Cambodian Countryside

Motorbiking through the Siem Reap countryside in Cambodia on a Honda Dream. Dusty red orange sand roads. Motorbiking through the Siem Reap countryside in Cambodia, tuk tuks on the road. Motorbiking through the Siem Reap countryside in Cambodia. Motorbiking through the Siem Reap countryside in Cambodia. Local fisherman on the road. Siem Reap countryside in Cambodia, local shops by the side of the road. Motorbiking through the Siem Reap countryside in Cambodia, local on motorbike carrying rugs and blankets. Countryside landscape in Siem Reap Cambodia. Motorbiking through the Siem Reap countryside in Cambodia on a Honda Dream with Khmer Ways. Dusty red orange sand roads. Countryside landscape in Siem Reap Cambodia, cows by the side of the road. Countryside landscape in Siem Reap Cambodia, reservoir with wooden shelters. Motorbiking throught the Siem Reap countryside in Cambodia on a Honda Dream, roadside stop. Countryside landscape in Siem Reap Cambodia, fields and Kulen mountain. Motorbiking through the Siem Reap countryside in Cambodia on a Honda Dream with Khmer Ways, roadside stop. Countryside landscape in Siem Reap Cambodia by reservoir. Countryside landscape in Siem Reap Cambodia wooden shack shelter. Countryside landscape in Siem Reap Cambodia, stream and views of Phnom Kulen mountain. Countryside landscape in Siem Reap Cambodia, dusty sand roads. Motorbiking through the Siem Reap countryside in Cambodia lake and landscape. Motorbiking throught the Siem Reap countryside in Cambodia on a Honda Dream. Dusty red orange sand roads. Motorbiking throught the Siem Reap countryside in Cambodia on a Honda Dream with Khmer Ways. Countryside landscape in Siem Reap Cambodia, dusty sand roads and local on bike. Siem Reap Cambodia countryside ruins of Koh Kyorng overgrown with trees. Siem Reap Cambodia countryside ruins of Koh Kyorng overgrown with trees. Siem Reap Cambodia countryside ruins of Koh Kyorng overgrown with trees. Countryside landscape in Siem Reap Cambodia, dusty roads. Siem Reap countryside in Cambodia, small stupa on temple grounds. Siem Reap countryside in Cambodia, local shop with Cambodian flags. Siem Reap Cambodia Buddhist Temple. Colourful flags and decorations hanging inside bright painted Buddhist temple in Siem Reap Cambodia. Siem Reap Cambodia countryside dog and young boy with bike. Siem Reap Cambodia Buddhist temple small stupas in the garden. Colourful flags and decorations hanging inside bright painted Buddhist temple in Siem Reap Cambodia. Countryside landscape in Siem Reap Cambodia, field and Phnom Kulen mountain. Siem Reap Cambodia countryside houses. Countryside landscape in Siem Reap Cambodia, dusty red orange roads.. Countryside landscape in Siem Reap Cambodia, local girl and buffalo in field. Motorbiking throught the Siem Reap countryside in Cambodia on a Honda Dream with Khmer Ways. Dusty red orange sand roads.

Sat atop my little Honda Dream, covered in dust and squinting at the sun baked road, was when I knew I’d fallen in love with Cambodia. I can’t even begin to tell you how beautiful the countryside here is. Rusty roads, lush green fields, mountains peeking up from every horizon and bright blue skies as far as you can see. We spent 8 hours on our bikes riding down dusty roads, exploring ruins and temples, and almost every moment of it took my breath away.

This was one of the highlights of our trip, and I’d even go as far as to say it’s been one of my favourite life experiences too. I’m doing a happy sigh right now just thinking about it.

We came across Khmer Ways and their moto tours a few days before we left and immediately set aside a day to get out and explore the other side of Siem Reap, away from the busy city. We emailed to book the day before and were picked up from our hotel by our guide for the day, Nee, who took us over to their office to pick up our bikes. After a quick practice in the back yard and alleyway next to the house, we were lead out onto the busy main road to make our way north. Driving in the crazy Cambodian traffic was definitely an experience, but soon we were away from it all and onto the quieter country roads winding out of town.

As we drove along, we passed by villages and local kids rushed to the side of the road to wave at us as we went past. Riding through such beauty, the wind in your hair and the sun beating down on your skin was such a strange mixture of exciting and relaxing, it was kind of blissful. I genuinely could have spent days out here on my bike. Nee took us into his own village a few hours in, where we stopped for a snack and some ice cold drinks before making our way further out towards the mountain.

After more riding we stopped by a huge restored ancient reservoir for BBQ lunch. We were welcomed into the open hut by two women and treated to such a feast! A huge platter of fresh fruit to share, rice, BBQ chicken for Nat and vegetables for me, plus lots of fizzy drinks to keep our energy up. I took a walk around the grounds and sat on the dock for a while, dipping my feet into the cool water and trying the take it all in.

After a little nap in the hut, we set off again to our next stop, the ruins of Koh Kyorng. This temple is completely in ruins, overgrown with trees and roots, with only a few doorways and windows still standing amid the rubble. Despite this, we saw offerings and piles of stacking stones scattered around, showing that it is still visited and holds some importance. After the busy main temples, it was nice to see this one with no one else around, it truly felt like we’d just stumbled upon something special.

Last of our stops was a beautiful, active temple surrounded by a moat. It was so peaceful here, with barely another person in sight. A young monk curiously followed us around, hiding around corners and peeking out at us, too shy to come over until his friend appeared and came over to talk to us. Before heading off back to town, we sat inside and had a quiet few moments, listening to the birds sing and the cloth decorations flutter in the cool breeze. It was the perfect end to such a magical day.

If you’re in Siem Reap, this is something you really need to make time to fit in. I couldn’t recommend Khmer Ways more, and Nee was such a wonderful guide and a lovely guy too, we had so much fun with him. He took us to see all of the best sights along the way, stopped to point out photo opportunities and made sure we were both well looked after with a seemingly never ending supply of water and drinks. I don’t think I’ve ever been so dirty as I was when we got back, but it was so worth it!

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